Man Utd ‘delighted’ as double striker transfer chances soar to give Ten Hag embarrassment of riches
A Sky Sports reporter has tipped Man Utd to secure two striker signings in the summer, and a “model professional” is doing everything he can to give Erik ten Hag a forward line that can compete with the best.
A restricted budget forced Man Utd into taking the cheaper route when replacing Cristiano Ronaldo this month. With the Red Devils unable to act on their interest in Cody Gakpo and Joao Felix, Ten Hag turned to fellow countryman Wout Weghorst to fill the void.
United forked out just £3m to secure a six-month loan signing. The money was evenly split between Burnley and Besiktas after United brought about an early end to his previous loan in Turkey.
Weghorst has started all three matches he’s been available for thus far and bagged his first goal in the club’s colours on Wednesday night.
The 30-year-old notched the second goal in United’s 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup. The frontman showed great anticipation when pouncing on Antony’s parried volley.
Speaking in the aftermath of the semi-final first-leg win, Ten Hag spoke glowingly about his new centre-forward.
Ten Hag loving Weghorst; Weghorst loving Man Utd
“It’s important for him and for his confidence that he scored that goal,” said Ten Hag.
“He did a great job at Crystal Palace and Arsenal with his pressing, targets and movements.
“He was part of Bruno’s [Fernandes’] goal at Palace because he makes the right movement to the front post. He was part of [Marcus) Rashford’s goal at Arsenal because he dragged the centre-half away.
“But strikers are there to score goals and when they don’t score they’re not happy.”
Weghorst was clearly ecstatic to get off the mark at United and when asked if he’d like to turn the temporary move permanent, replied: “Of course.
“The situation now is how it was – it was for a loan. It’s a massive club so I will try to do everything as good as I can, and if it will work out it will be a good option.
“I’ve seen the first couple of days, almost a week, how big the club is in everything – the facilities, the club, even the quality in the team, the way we’re playing. There’s a lot of quality in everything and that’s something you look to work in, in a winning atmosphere.
“I think the first week went well and it’s up to me to deliver and contribute and to help the team as good as I can. I’m quite confident I can play a role in it.
“The club was looking for a target man. With [Anthony] Martial there was only one real striker, more of a No.9. They just wanted to add one and then it’s up to me and to take your chances.”
Two striker signings possible
Man Utd are widely believed to be targeting a more high profile striker signing in the summer.
The likes of Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen, Dusan Vlahovic and Goncalo Ramos have all been linked. How far United can push the boat out financially may well depend on if they can secure the riches of Champions League qualification.
In any case, Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol reported that aside from an all new striker signing, Weghorst too could be brought on board on a permanent basis.
He’s reportedly been a “model professional” in Manchester thus far and the club are understood to be “delighted” with what they’ve seen.
A forward line containing Jadon Sancho, Alejandro Garnacho, Rashford, Anthony Martial, Weghorst, a new high profile striker, Antony, Anthony Elanga and Facundo Pellistri would give Ten Hag an embarrassment of riches.
“I’m told that Manchester United are delighted with how Wout Weghorst has settled in,” said Solhekol.
“A lot of people were surprised when they made a move for him but Erik ten Hag felt a player of Weghorst’s profile was needed at the club.
“We all know that he signed on loan until the summer, and the sense I get from what the player himself said yesterday is that he wants to stay as long as possible and he is doing everything right at the moment.
“United are delighted with what he is doing both on and off the pitch and I’m told he is a model professional. Even though they are looking to sign a No 9 in the summer, he may well be kept on in any case.”
Weghorst’s loan from Burnley doesn’t contain an option to buy, meaning any permanent move will have to be negotiated from scratch over the summer.
But with Burnley a shoo-in for promotion back to the top flight under the wildly impressive Vincent Kompany, they’ll be looking for high profile sales in order to generate cash for signings more in tune with Kompany’s philosophy.
Weghorst is a fine candidate to go in that regard, something that may well benefit he, Ten Hag and Man Utd in five months’ time.
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